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Pest Control Chronicles, White Clover: The “Indicator” Weed

Pest Control Chronicles, White Clover: The “Indicator” Weed

Some lawn weeds are so common, and so adaptable, that they become an expected part of the Landscape.  Others are indicators of specific issues or practices that have to exist for the respective weed to thrive.  Also, some weeds have beneficial properties and are sometimes grown purposefully, which can lead to unintentional invasions.  Common White Clover is a weed that fits the bill for all three of these characteristics, and we will discuss why here.   Identification White Clover can be easily recognized by its distinct set of 3 heart-shaped leaves, “3 Leaf Clovers”, that inspire the long-time search for its 4-leafed variation that is said to bring luck.  Its spiked white cluster flowers are very common as well, and can be seen all Spring & most of Summer. White Clover can also be distinguished by the white markings in the middle of its leaves.   Indications White Clover has often been an indicator of certain lawn conditions for lawn care professionals, and used to confirm or exclude a certain diagnosis. The most common of these conditions is the indication that a lawn is being mowed too low.  The presence of White Clover in a lawn is a good clue that you are mowing your grass too low, as it thrives where the grass is cut too short to outcompete it.  Mowing your lawn between 3.5 – 4 inches weekly can help to promote healthy turf and discourage White Clover. White Clover can also indicate the presence of low Nitrogen content in the soil.  Clover can fixate, or create, its own Nitrogen for growth.  So it will thrive where...
Warm Season Fungal Diseases. The 3 Most Misdiagnosed Lawn Problems.

Warm Season Fungal Diseases. The 3 Most Misdiagnosed Lawn Problems.

During the Summer months, the most common culprits of Lawn problems are lack of water, low mowing heights, and compaction from Summer foot traffic.  Often going unnoticed and under-appreciated is the impact fungal diseases can have on your turf during the hotter months.  These are often referred to in the Lawn Care business as “Patch DIseases”. Here we discuss the common features and causes of each of these problems, and how to treat them. Read More: https://greenteamct.com/lawn-watering-basics     Summer Patch Appears as yellow-colored circular patched about 2-20 inches in diameter. Summer patch can also appear as crescent patterns or rings. Up close black fungal threads can be seen at the roots. Summer patch is caused by hot days, above 85 degrees F, and wet conditions. Symptoms appear in late Summer, and persist on poorly drained compacted soils. Low mowing height and high soil pH levels also favor the development of this disease. Aerating to reduce soil compaction, planting shade trees and plants & adjusting soil pH below 6.5 can help alleviate the symptoms of Summer Patch. Related Read:https://greenteamct.com/2019/01/08/fungal-diseases-that-can-damage-your-lawn-during-after-winter/     Brown Patch Another disease that is closely related to close mowing heights and hot temperatures.  It appears as circular patches up to several feet across, that fade to light brown in color.  Gray smoke rings may be observed in the early morning, along with tan lesions on leaf blades.  High Nitrogen Levels increase its severity, as well as prolonged rainy weather.  Aerating compacted soil to aid in drainage, improving circulation, and decreasing Nitrogen use can aid in correcting this problem from your lawn. Related Read:https://greenteamct.com/2018/07/29/tips-advice-eco-friendly-landscaping/     Dollar...
A Guide to Reviving Your Summer-Stressed Lawn.

A Guide to Reviving Your Summer-Stressed Lawn.

Many of our clients state that their lawns always die back during Summer, and attribute this to some natural, uncontrollable phenomenon.  While the mild temperatures and high moisture of Spring & Fall can make having a beautiful lawn easy; Summer is the one time of year you must follow the common recommendations to keep your grass green and strong.  We have some graphical representations below of the most important steps you can take to revive and protect your lawn from summer drought.     Lawn Care in Connecticut Green Team provides Lawn Care to the CT shoreline and beyond.  Our experts can assess and recommend options to revive your lawn in Summer or maintain it all year.  Call us for a free assessment at (860) 222-7171 or click the button below.   SCHEDULE...
Life and Lawn Saving Facts: Lawn Tasks in the Summer Heat. Summer Lawn Maintenance Tips.

Life and Lawn Saving Facts: Lawn Tasks in the Summer Heat. Summer Lawn Maintenance Tips.

  During the hot Summer months, it is important to start assessing and calculating the risks involved with certain lawn maintenance tasks. Mowing and watering your lawn in excessive heat and humidity poses certain risks to not only your lawn, but can also prove detrimental to your personal health.  Here we discuss some risks and and changes in your lawn care approach that should be considered going into the Summer months.   Cut Back On The Watering Despite traditional wisdom on watering lawns during the summer, this is a time when less is more. The high heat and humidity creates a breeding ground for Summer lawn diseases, such as Brown Patch and Summer Patch.  Having excessive moisture on grass blades aids in development of these fungal diseases. There are also certain insect pests, such as the Japanese Beetle, that thrive better in wet versus dry conditions.  The following are some best practices for watering your lawn during Summer. Water no more than 2 times per week from July through August Heavy infrequent watering creates a thicker, more drought resistant turf Water to about 1 inch per session Do not mow a wet lawn Use shade trees and perennials to create a natural barrier against heat stress   Perform Tasks Your Lawn at Times That Are Safer For You and Your Lawn Performing lawn or landscaping tasks in the heat can be dangerous to not only your lawn, it can be dangerous to your health as well.  Cutting grass, or other plants, during high temperatures causes the whole plant to go into a state of shock.  After this, the plant...
Spring Lawn Pest Control Spotlight: The Early Bloomer, Common Chickweed.

Spring Lawn Pest Control Spotlight: The Early Bloomer, Common Chickweed.

  For most, the thought of Spring conjures “Disney-Like” images of sunsets and flocking birds. For the pest control worker, these images are horribly obscured with the matted weeds and and slimy grubs.  Spring is the season when everything comes alive, especially the unwanted pests of the lawn. Here we will talk about one of the earliest weeds to show up in early Spring, the Common Chickweed.   General Description Chickweed is commonly described as a “winter annual”, due to it’s ability to thrive, and even flower, during the cold Winter temperatures. In normal conditions this plant will flower 4-5 weeks after emergence in Spring.  These flowers will bloom from Spring until Fall, and can not be suppressed with simple mowing. It reproduces by seed spread during summer.  It’s growth pattern is low, prostrate in patches.  It grows best along sidewalks, bed edges, and curbs. The most distinctive characteristic of Chckweed is the pattern of its flower petals.  There are 5 flower petals, with deep notches that give it the false appearance of having 10 separate petals.  Also, it’s leaves are particularly shiny compared to other plants.  Although the leaves of it’s cousin, Mouse Ear Chickweed, are hairy.   Control & Treatment As a reminder, Chickweed is a very hardy annual that spreads by seed.  By far the most effective control of chickweed is a thorough pre-emergent strategy.  This pre-emergent strategy would include applications in November and April to beat any seed possible germination.  Cultural practices that promote Chickweed growth include moist, poor draining soil and heavily shaded turf. Proper water management, shade plant selection, and proper mowing will...